A faithful West End friend

Since October 1990, The Tavern has been as faithful to its clientele as “Cheers,” where everybody knows your name. On a lazy Saturday afternoon recently, repeat customers cozied up to the bar to watch football on one of three flat-screen TVs. Without fail, the staff knew their names and orders without asking.

Native Richmonders know The Tavern, although it is hidden in a little shopping center at the corner of Patterson and Three Chopt. From the minute you walk in, you’re greeted with a warm smile in the relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. The wooden booths, hardwood floors and large bar give it a true tavern feel.

“It’s a big happy family,” said Mackenzie Daube, the manager, who explained that most of the staff grew up in the Richmond region, too. And the restaurant caters to the whole family, she explained, referencing the large kids’ menu that features buttered noodles ($4) and handcut chicken breast tenders ($5).

With a goal of consistency and quality, The Tavern makes the majority of its food from scratch. This includes homemade vanilla ice cream and the pulled barbeque platter ($12.50), smoked overnight.

The menu is loaded with American fare, but you’ll be surprised to see the variety of options and twists on common meals.

Because it’s a tavern, the beer selection is vast – of the 20 beers on tap, 15 are craft beers from Virginia breweries. There are just as many bottled beer options.

“We try to stay within our region,” said Daube. “Some customers come in for that fact alone. Our beers are noteworthy.” Happy hour runs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Beers, wines and rail drinks are sold at discounted prices.

While sipping on a Hardywood Virginia Blackberry beer (local to Richmond), I asked for the top-selling appetizer – the nachos covered in chili. Other options included baked brie, quesadillas and Santa Fe Jack bean dip.

The homemade chips came to me covered in chili, cheese, tomatoes and sour cream, but I asked to have the jalapenos served on the side. Although it’s a pretty basic appetizer, it is tastier when it’s made from scratch, and they certainly didn’t hold back on any of the toppings.

I was careful not to spoil my main course, Caprese Chicken ($17.50, pictured). The grilled chicken breast cutlets were perfectly flavored with salt and pepper with a side of tomatoes, basil and mozzarella – all drizzled in olive oil. After such a hearty appetizer, the fresh and light meal was right on.

A friend ordered the Carolina-style barbeque sandwich with homemade barbeque sauce, french fries and cole slaw. The tender and juicy barbecue came packed on a wheat bun, flavorful enough that we didn’t add extra sauce.

The menu boasts unique salads like the Spinach Caribe: spinach, jerk spiced walnuts, red onion and chevre cheese in pineapple dressing ($9). Vegetarians can order from their own section on the menu that includes a garden burger ($7.50) and a black bean burger ($9.50).

Sandwich options include the shrimpburger, wild-caught salmon filet, cheesesteak and crabcake. Entrees range from Tavern traditions like the Cooper River pan roast ($17.50) – a mix of shrimp, spicy sausage, spinach, peppers, onions and potatoes – to Southwest steak fajitas ($17). Also on the menu are a variety of pasta dishes, steaks, and of course, dessert.

All pies are made in-house, including chocolate pecan and lemon-lime ($5).

The Tavern is casual enough for happy hour, large enough for a big group outing, and relaxed enough for a family meal with kids.
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Henrico Business Bulletin Board

October 2017

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The West End Islamic Center will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 5000 Shady Grove Road, Glen Allen. Visitors will be able to meet their neighbors, learn more about the faith and ask questions, enjoy light refreshments and see a live demonstration of Islamic prayers. To learn more, visit http://www.weicrva.org or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Full text

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